Professional Development and Research Opportunities

Professional Development

Public Health Forum

Public Health Forum is a monthly presentation at which students, faculty, and colleagues gather to examine contemporary problems or issues in the public health world. Speakers include public health practitioners and policy experts from around the globe and faculty from schools of public health universities. The goal of Public Health Forum is to promote awareness and dialogue about matters critical to the public’s health. The Forum is held monthly from 12 –1 PM during the academic year in room L-112. Topics for the Forum will be posted monthly throughout the school and medical campus as well as on the SPH web. If you have any questions about the Public Health Forum, please contact Vanessa Edouard at vbe@bu.edu. Past topics include: Fraud in Medical Research; Strategies for Addressing Health Disparities in Boston; and Male Circumcision: Our Best Available HIV Vaccine.

Professional Associations

In addition to skills that are gained through classes and professional development seminars, students benefit greatly from joining professional associations.  These associations offer students opportunities to meet people working in public health, learn about job opportunities, understand trends in the field, and polish communication and presentation skills at annual meetings.  Students are strongly encouraged to become active in any of the following organizations:

Research Opportunities

Students interested in research are encouraged to enroll in a Directed Study with a faculty member. More information on faculty research projects can be found by reading the faculty bios on the Community Health Sciences webpage.

Examples of Student-Faculty Research Projects

“Conducting a research project with Dr. Siegel has been a very exciting and beneficial experience.  Over the summer semester sessions, two fellow students and I created an independent project to investigate youth and adult exposure to alcohol advertising on the MBTA subway trains. The research process, from conception of focus, methodology, analyzing results and manuscript production, allowed me to utilize classroom knowledge to address this growing public health concern.  The results of the project were published in the American Journal of Public Health and received much media attention.  The results were cited by Dr. Siegel in his testimony to the Massachusetts legislature, which is currently considering a bill to ban alcohol advertising on state property.  By participating in the research opportunities provided by BUSPH, I have been able to actively advocate for change.”

- Siphannay Nhean, Social and Behavioral Sciences Concentrator

“Students have worked with the PHH-PRC in different capacities. While I was PI of the GirlStars Program, the first Center Core Research Project of the Partners in Health and Housing Prevention and Research Center (PHH-PRC), two students conducted independent directed studies.  GirlStars provided a program of regular, organized physical exercise combined with health education sessions for adolescent girls in two public housing developments. The students assisted with planning and leading sessions and designed an evaluation of the Program.   In the summer of 2009, a student participated in a directed study evaluating a PRC co-funded program, Educating the Minds and Leaving Drugs & Violence Behind Mentorship Basketball League and Clinic, which focuses on violence prevention among youths in Boston.  The student assessed program participation, identified barriers and facilitators to program implementation and best practices including observations of practices and games, interviews with coaches and a survey of participants. For both of these projects which I supervised, the contribution of the students was invaluable. Their application of knowledge and skills and the products they produced were applicable and very helpful for PRC program planning, design and evaluation.”

- Lee Strunin, Social and Behavioral Sciences Faculty Member

Social and Behavioral Sciences Data Resources